Developments in employee figures from 1870 to the present day
As regards the bank’s initial years, the figures we have are nothing more than estimates, but we do know that in the founding year (1870) Deutsche Bank only employed a few dozen staff. Exact employee figures were released for the very first time in 1894: 1,072 staff members, all of them men, worked for Deutsche Bank at the time, in Berlin and the five other branches across Germany. The establishment of additional branches as well as the first takeovers of larger credit institutions (Bergisch Märkische Bank in 1914, Schlesischer Bankverein and Norddeutsche Creditanstalt in 1917) took the number of employees up to around 13,000 by the end of the First World War. Owing to the vast amount of work during the period of hyperinflation in Germany, the number of staff members rocketed and reached its peak of 37,000 employees in November 1923, which then recoiled substantially over the subsequent years.
The major merger of Deutsche Bank and Disconto-Gesellschaft in 1929, which also led to the absorption of a series of other banks into the unified institute, took the number of employees back up to 20,000. Following a temporary slump during the financial crisis of 1931, this remained at a steady level until the Second World War. As of 1942, there are no more overviews of employee figures available. The same applies to the immediate post-War period, when in the Western zones Deutsche Bank was temporarily divided up into ten subordinate banks. In the Soviet-occupied zone Deutsche Bank’s activities were ended for the time being; many of the staff from the branches there were taken on by banks administered by the East German state. In 1953 Deutsche Bank resumed its documentation of precise employee figures (14,801), although it was divided into the Norddeutsche Bank, Rheinisch-Westfälische Bank and Süddeutsche Bank at the time.
When Deutsche Bank was reestablished as a unified institute in 1957, it employed just under 17,000 staff members. The increasingly comprehensive presence of branches across the country following Deutsche Bank’s entry into the retail banking business led to a continuous increase in staffing levels over the subsequent years. As a consequence of the establishment of several subsidiaries, from the mid-1960s onwards separate sets of figures were released for the “core bank” and Deutsche Bank Group; Group figures have played an instrumental role ever since. In the 1980s, Deutsche Bank’s expanding international presence was also reflected in employee figures (e.g., thanks to the takeover of Banca d’America e d’Italia in 1986).
At home, the start of business with the former East German states in 1990 and the consequent addition of 140 branches led to yet another sharp increase in staff numbers; a trend which continued for another few years. In the 1990s it was above all the bank’s new global orientation that caused employee figures to rise once again.
Deutsche Bank also recorded a significant rise in staffing levels following the integration of Bankers Trust (1999) and Postbank (2010).